For Health Care Professionals

Selected Important Safety Information

Who should not take Levemir®?

Do not take Levemir® if:

  • You have an allergy to Levemir® or any of the ingredients in Levemir®.

How should I take Levemir®?

  • Read the Instructions for Use and take exactly as directed.
  • Know the type and strength of your insulin. Do not change your insulin type unless your health care provider tells you to.
  • Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugar levels should be and when you should check them.
  • Do not share needles, insulin pens, or syringes. You may give or get an infection from another person.
  • Never inject Levemir® into a vein or muscle.
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How insulin affects blood sugar

Insulin is a hormone made naturally in the pancreas that helps move sugar into the cells of your body. Your cells use the sugar as fuel to make energy.

Without enough insulin, sugar stays in your bloodstream, raising your blood sugar. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can lead to the signs and symptoms of diabetes:

Over time, hyperglycemia can damage your nerves, eyesight, and kidneys, so it’s important to get your blood sugar in the target range recommended by your health care provider. Insulin therapy can help control blood sugar levels.

Different types of insulin meet different needs

When you have diabetes, you either do not have enough insulin in your body to control your blood sugar or your body prevents the insulin it does make from working properly. Your health care provider may start you on a man-made insulin that can help control your blood sugar during the times of the day that you need it most.

Each type of insulin helps keep diabetes under control, but no one type is right for everyone. Each person’s insulin need is different. And each person’s insulin need may change over time. Your diabetes care team will prescribe the insulin that is best for you.

Different insulin treatments are grouped by how long they work

Type of insulin Onset Duration
Long-acting 1 hour Up to 24 hours
Rapid-acting 10-30 minutes Up to 5 hours
Premixeda 10-30 minutes Up to 24 hours

Long-acting Insulin

Onset: 1 hour

Duration: Up to 24 hours

Rapid-Acting Insulin

Onset: 10-30 minutes

Duration: Up to 5 hours

Pre-Mixed Insulina

Onset: 10-30 minutes

Duration: Up to 24 hours

aPremixed insulin combines specific proportions of a long-acting insulin with insulin that provides coverage for a meal in one vial or insulin pen. (The numbers following the brand name indicate the percentage of each type of action.)

Long-acting insulin can be taken along with rapid-acting insulin

When you need more control over your blood sugar levels, your doctor may suggest basal-bolus therapy. Basal-bolus therapy is recommended for people with type 1 diabetes. It may also be recommended for people with type 2 diabetes who need tighter blood sugar control.

People on basal-bolus therapy monitor their blood sugar levels closely and take insulin doses with meals and prior to bedtime. The goal of this kind of insulin therapy is to mimic the way blood sugar is controlled in your body.

Basal-bolus is one of the combination treatment plans that Levemir® long-acting insulin can be a part of to help you meet your blood sugar goals.

Learn more about Levemir®

What is Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection)?

Important Safety Information

Who should not take Levemir®?

Do not take Levemir® if:

Before taking Levemir®, tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions including, if you are:

Talk to your health care provider about how to manage low blood sugar.

How should I take Levemir®?

What should I avoid while taking Levemir®?

What are the possible side effects of Levemir®?

Serious side effects can lead to death, including:

Low blood sugar. Some signs and symptoms include:

Your insulin dose may need to change because of:

Other common side effects may include:

Get emergency medical help if you have:

Please click here for Levemir® Prescribing Information.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Levemir® is a prescription medication.

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